The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs alleged that Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters fired at a Peshmerga unit operating near Duhok governorate’s Matin Mountain early on Saturday morning (July 24).
Peshmerga Chief of Staff Jamal Mohammed said in a statement later in the day that the Peshmerga has a right to defend itself anywhere in the Region if needed.
“Due to the fights between the [PKK] and Turkey, villages have been vacated and many people have been displaced,” Mohammed said.
He added that the PKK does not respect the Kurdistan Region’s sovereignty and its presence precipitates Turkish incursions.
The PKK has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish government for Kurdish rights and autonomy and maintains a network of bases in the Kurdistan Region.
The KRG has close economic, political, and security relations with Turkey.
Ankara launched Operation Claw Lightning earlier this year and thousands of villagers have been displaced by the fighting.
The Peshmerga and the PKK have clashed on several occasions since November.
On June 5, five Peshmerga were killed in an explosion in Amedi district. The KRG blamed the PKK, which denied responsibility.